Summer 2012 Site Review
Position: Research Intern
Student: Sociology Senior
Zilker Ventures, LLC runs multiple affiliate marketing websites that focus on reviewing business-to-business services for startups. One website Zilker runs, ChooseWhat.com, guides entrepreneurs through the process of starting a business and details what businesses should look for in business services like tax software, online backup, Internet fax, and office phone systems. As an affiliate marketing company, Zilker’s goal is to direct business to other sites, specifically the service providers reviewed on Zilker’s websites. Every time a visitor clicks through Zilker’s websites to the service provider and signs up for the service, Zilker gets a commission as a reward for directing traffic to the site. Though the purpose of these sites is to generate business for service providers, the reviews are not motivated by getting sales but by giving accurate information in order to gain and maintain the trust of visitors to gain repeat business.
Research Interns serve a supportive role for the Research Analyst department, focusing primarily on researching business-to-business services and quality checking previously conducted research. The process begins with familiarizing yourself with the service you will research. This learning process usually takes place while you re-research services, though you may be assigned preliminary research assignments to prepare you for research tasks. Internet research and contacting customer support are the primary sources for finding information.
Interns at Zilker are given plenty of opportunities to take on other duties as well. For instance, the Search Engine Optimization specialist gave me a project in which I wrote and maintained a business technology blog. Some other tasks consisted of analyzing SEO data, updating websites, and writing other articles to develop content for the websites. The staff at Zilker is very friendly and they are very willing to assist interns when asked for help. They are also happy to give you assignments if you ask, as well as give you advice on anything from what car to buy to how to land a job.